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N Engl J Med. 2010 Jan 7;362(1):9-17. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa0808939.

Preventing surgical-site infections in nasal carriers of Staphylococcus aureus.

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1
Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. l.bode@erasmusmc.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Nasal carriers of Staphylococcus aureus are at increased risk for health care-associated infections with this organism. Decolonization of nasal and extranasal sites on hospital admission may reduce this risk.

METHODS:

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial, we assessed whether rapid identification of S. aureus nasal carriers by means of a real-time polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) assay, followed by treatment with mupirocin nasal ointment and chlorhexidine soap, reduces the risk of hospital-associated S. aureus infection.

RESULTS:

From October 2005 through June 2007, a total of 6771 patients were screened on admission. A total of 1270 nasal swabs from 1251 patients were positive for S. aureus. We enrolled 917 of these patients in the intention-to-treat analysis, of whom 808 (88.1%) underwent a surgical procedure. All the S. aureus strains identified on PCR assay were susceptible to methicillin and mupirocin. The rate of S. aureus infection was 3.4% (17 of 504 patients) in the mupirocin-chlorhexidine group, as compared with 7.7% (32 of 413 patients) in the placebo group (relative risk of infection, 0.42; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.23 to 0.75). The effect of mupirocin-chlorhexidine treatment was most pronounced for deep surgical-site infections (relative risk, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.07 to 0.62). There was no significant difference in all-cause in-hospital mortality between the two groups. The time to the onset of nosocomial infection was shorter in the placebo group than in the mupirocin-chlorhexidine group (P=0.005).

CONCLUSIONS:

The number of surgical-site S. aureus infections acquired in the hospital can be reduced by rapid screening and decolonizing of nasal carriers of S. aureus on admission. (Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN56186788.)

PMID:
20054045
DOI:
10.1056/NEJMoa0808939
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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